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Creative Nonfiction Sad

Trigger warning: mentions death


***

FRIDAY, 10 Feb 2021


“Shame is a wasted emotion.” 

Kurt Hummel, The Quarterback 

(Season 5, Episode 3)


I feel like I need to start off with that. I rewatched The Quarterback today. I didn’t cry this time, and I think I finally found closure. Sure, I still miss Cory and Naya. But watching the episode now (almost 8 years after Cory’s death, and almost a year after Naya’s) is simply comforting. 


Naya's always been so special to me. Ever since I saw her on Glee, one of my biggest dreams is to meet her, hug her, and thank her for showing me that it's okay to be myself. But she’s gone, and I just have to accept it. 


The world is cruel like that. 


But I do have to say that at least I'm thankful for what I have right now: my parents, my little brother, my friends, and, of course, myself (for still keeping it together with grandpa during this crazy lockdown). It's a little insane to believe that I feel happy; it's so surreal. Maybe it’s because I managed to ignore his yells and complaints. Maybe it's because I started journaling. Whatever the reason, grandpa’s not hurting me as much. And it's like I can finally breathe again. 


***

MONDAY, 12 Feb 2021 

Heya! I’m up and alive so hi! I'm in class, Man and Religion. Discussing the Bible today. Despite my doubts about God, I like this class. I didn't want to at first, but I'm glad the faculty made me take it. Now I realize the importance of religion and different ways other people see the world. 


Everyone needs something to hold on to, and no one should be judged by their beliefs. 


***

TUESDAY, 16 Feb 2021

Hi! It’s Tuesday already. I have to start keeping track of time. It's taking way too long to complete my assignments. 


Oh dear journal, why is college so hard?


***

WEDNESDAY, 17 Feb 2021

Hello Wednesday, where we don’t wear pink but go to cafés and watch it begin again. I have some news, but before we get to that let me get some work done first so I won’t feel guilty.


Okay, I'll admit that I ended up finishing the essay without reading the whole chapter. But at least the work’s done.


So, let me tell you the exciting, interesting part that everyone’s been waiting for. Yesterday, a nest fell off a tree in our garden. The bird family fled—or so I hope, better they be somewhere else than eaten. The amount of stray cats here makes my stomach churn. Anyway, you’d never believe what mom found—a baby bird! The only living creature left in this tragic scene. I was at the library attending online classes when this happened, but mom told me that the hatchling was buried headfirst in the dry dirt. She wasn’t even sure if it was still alive when she found it. 


It was.


A little bird fell

And survived one vicious fall

A true miracle 


Now Naya is safely in a shoebox, waiting for the day to fly back to her family again. Yes, I named her. And no, I don’t know for sure if she’s a girl or a boy, but until I do she’s Naya.


PS, If you’re not a girl, then I’m sorry, Naya. (It’s still such a kickass name though.)


***

It’s late and Naya seems tired. She’s so still...


Too still.


I worry about her a lot. How can I not when she is only a few days old, small, and scared? 


Naya, wherever you are in the sky, please help Little Naya fly with you someday. I know she’s tiny and she can’t see yet. But she’s the only one that survived the fall. She’s a fighter. That’s why I named her after you—because I believe in her. 


I may have my doubts about God, but I know you’re an angel up there somewhere. Please smile on Little Naya for me.


Help her.


Please.


***

THURSDAY,18 Feb 2021 


Dear Naya (the angel), 


Thank you. 


Naya (the hatchling) is awake and full of life now. I saw her first thing in the morning, and it made me so, so happy. Not only that, but last night was the first that I slept peacefully in a long, long time. You did this, didn’t you? 


Oh Naya, you really are the best.


***

It’s 8.30 and I just finished Naya's book, Sorry Not Sorry. Honestly, I was saving it. I didn’t want it to end. But just like any other good story, the ending always comes too soon. 


I want to thank Naya for writing her book. It’s probably one of the most genuine things I’ve read. She wrote it like she would’ve: bold, honest, straight-to-your-face Naya style. I am nothing like her. And anyone with a personality as big as Naya's would probably still scare me—no kidding. But I love that I’ve learned so much from her book, especially stuff like beliefs and race. Looking back, I should have stood up for myself more often, you know? Naya would have done that. 


Sorry Not Sorry also reminded me that I should be kinder to myself. 


Because, to be fair, I AM doing the best that I can as an 18-year-old during Covid-19!


***

FRIDAY, 19 Feb 2021

Happy Friday everyone! Everyone’s happy on Fridays—I don’t make the rules. Naya’s doing great. She's healthy and seems to be growing a lot of feathers already. I forgot to tell you, but she hurt her leg during the fall. So, every time she sits up, she tilts to one side (I can’t tell which side yet because apparently, I can’t tell my right from my left haha.) but I’m really glad she’s healing.


***

SATURDAY, 20 Feb 2021

I’ve been super busy but I’m here now! I’m doing fine with my studies. Got everything done on time. I just hope it stays that way. 


But, of course, the most important thing is that Naya is doing great. She’s eating and growing so fast. Again, I still don’t know if she’s a girl or not, and I might never know. Still, Naya the hatchling is such a sweetheart and even more of a fighter. I just want to give her a big, big hug.


***

SUNDAY, 21 Feb 2021

It’s Naya’s sixth day here with us, and to my pleasure and joy, she is doing amazing. Mom had to leave for work today, so I was in charge of Naya (for the most part). I can’t believe that I finally have my first pet. Ever! I sing to Naya a lot and I like to believe that she enjoys it. Oh, come on! I don’t suck that bad, do I? Anyway, it's nice singing to her; I’m secretly wishing she'd grow up to be a songbird, and we’d sing together like they do in princess movies. 


***

MONDAY, 22 Feb 2021

It’s the 22nd already and, wow, time flies. I'm doing pretty well, but I should be studying for my test this Saturday. 


Why does college have to be so hard??


***

TUESDAY, 23 Feb 2021

Naya’s doing great, and I’m thrilled. Other than the fact that I’m freaking over the test on Saturday, I’m doing fine myself. Also, considering that I wrecked my Mizunos last week, I'm thinking of getting new sneakers this Friday. I can use a break from home. 


Anyway, I should head to bed, got a stack of books to finish tomorrow! Chao!


***

WEDNESDAY, 24 Feb 2021

I listened to an episode of Crime Junkie today, and it left me pretty creeped out. Madeleine McCann’s murder is just so dark. I don’t understand how anyone can be so twisted to hurt other people, let alone little kids. And Madeleine was only 3! Why is the world so damn cruel?!


But on a positive note—yes, I’m starting about Naya—she’s doing great. She’s already beginning to grow soft feathers. I do believe that she’s growing to be one tough bird.


***

FRIDAY, 26 Feb 2021

I honestly don’t know how to start because it all hurts so much. There’s no artistic play, no twisting of words, no euphemisms good enough. I’m gonna flat out say it because my heart might blow up if I don’t.


Naya’s dead.


She died, and I’m having a hard time processing everything. We love her so much, especially mom. She treated Naya like she was her own child. And then there's my little brother who loves Naya just as much. Naya died in mom’s palm while little brother was playing with her. She was chirping, flapping her little wings, and then she just


Stopped.


I wasn’t there when it happened, and I don’t think I’d still have the force to write if I was. 


Her death is so unnecessary. But I don’t want to talk about how or why she died partly because I don’t think it would ever make sense to me, but mostly because I want to focus more on how she lived. She was such a joy in everything she did. She made us laugh and smile and dream about how she would be when she gets older.


We forgot that she was already a miracle right from the start.


Naya’s all about living in the moment, just like Naya the angel. Wait… they’re both angels now…


Why is the world like this?


I don’t think I’ll ever be ready, but life goes on. It’s just the way it is. Naya knew this, even though she was so young. She always chirped happily and louder with every passing day, like she knew that we were running out of time.


And she did more in 10 days than anyone I know. 


I think it’s because Naya had such a big heart that for a while I kind of forgot that she was just a baby. She was in a fragile little frame; one blow and she’s gone. But her heart. Oh, her heart was braver than a thousand knights.


I will never forget how she never gave up, how she fought to live.


A little bird fell

And survived one vicious fall

A true miracle


Such a feisty little bird. 


It’s both tragic and beautiful how no one even considered this kind of ending. We believed in her so much. But nothing can hide the truth that we were no mama bird, even with all the hopes and thoughts in this world. We were just humans trying to hold on to a miracle. Even if it's just for 10 days.


***

SATURDAY, 27 Feb 2021

I miss Naya. There really is no other way to put it. I went to her grave earlier and sang Isn’t She Lovely. Naya knew it was her song. She was quite the singer too. Every time I sang this to her she would chirp along. She was a little pitchy, but she still sang because she wanted to, and she could. 


It was the cutest thing ever. 


Even in her last moments, Naya was so alive and happy. She gave no warning, you know. She didn't cry or yelp in pain. She was just eating and goofing around until she wasn't anymore. 


I know that going down this lane will never bring her back, but I can’t help it. Everything happened so fast, and I’m having a hard time taking it in. She was so young. She would've grown so well. She could've seen the world with the wind beneath her strong wings. 


Maybe she is flying somewhere. Somewhere better. 

I hope she is. 


I know that I live in a toxic place, and I may have endured it for years, but that doesn’t mean Naya should ever have to do the same. 


Staying in a sad place for too long can make you forget, you know. I forgot how mad grandpa could get. I forgot how he would spray pesticides until we all choked. I forgot that he never listened. I forgot how loud his screams were. 


I forgot that it wasn’t normal to live like this. 


And the sad part is Naya might still be here had I remembered.


I really don’t want to be, but I’m mad. I’m sorry. Naya doesn’t deserve the negativity. She was the brightest ball of sunshine ever. The only ball of sunshine. 


But even the sun says goodbye at night. I hope she knows she holds the best ten days of my life. The memory of how


A little bird fell

And survived one vicious fall

A true miracle 


I will never forget it at all. 


Rest in peace, Naya. 


July 07, 2021 15:15

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5 comments

Supanat Kheowsri
15:50 Jul 07, 2021

I'm sure Naya is still missing you from somewhere we can't reach for now :)❤.

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Cannelle L
16:39 Jul 07, 2021

Thank you. You don't know much this means to me.

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Kathleen `Woods
14:45 Apr 20, 2022

Bias in preface, Diary format is one that I am generally fine with, but am pretty much unable to write in to my preference. Good on you, this sounded nice overall, in consideration of tone and subject. Your choice of reference placed the piece very clearly in the world which in hindsight made your first tag obvious despite my neglecting to read it beforehand. I'm sorry about your Bird, I'm certain you were a great comfort to her though her life however short. Thanks for Writing!

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Cannelle L
12:02 May 21, 2022

Hey thank you for leaving a comment. It means a lot to me considering I've been too busy to write lately and almost forgot about these stories. Looking back, this story is personal and just really really sad. I probably wouldn't have the guts to post it today. I guess I was feeling brave when I shared it, and doing so brought be closure somehow. Thank you for taking the time to read what's basically just me crying over my pet bird. I guess it means so much because I thought no one would care. But then there's you. So, again, thanks:)

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Kathleen `Woods
03:46 May 22, 2022

It was nothing, your work was an easy enough read! I think It's good to be a little brave on here when you can. I've actually posted quite a few works on here that gave me a whole lot more trepidation than they probably deserved. Though I'm still more embarrassed by the typos on my first few weeks. :)

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